The homeless proofing of Manteca continues.
The Church of Christ on Powers Avenue next door to the East Yosemite Avenue 7-Eleven has finished securing their property along the frontage with a decorative wrought iron fence topped with pointed ends and a chain link fence topped with barbed wire along the alley.
The church for years has had to deal with issues that go way beyond the homeless sleeping on the grounds. Like other property owners they have dealt with ongoing defecation, drug paraphernalia, and trash left behind.
At the same time 7-Eleven next door was forced to add the same wrought iron fencing but with bent tops with pointed tips to secure an outside area utilized for trash bins and other purposes.
Various other areas around the alley have been secured as well to prevent the homeless from trespassing on other private property. The end result has been a drop in problems.
The side of the 7-Eleven has become a gathering place for between three and six homeless every night in recent weeks mirroring the homeless loitering across the way on the side of the Dollar General Store during daylight hours.
The homeless besides sleeping in front of The Perfect Tan next door to 7-Eleven, in the alley and in front of the church include some that will shout profanities at people passing by. Manteca Police have been responding to such issues.
After 7-Eleven conducted an educational effort using an A-frame sign to ask people to refrain from giving money to panhandlers to avoid creating safety issues for customers, panhandling by the homeless in front of the store went from a daily occurrence to a rarity.
It is all part of a growing trend in Manteca to reduce homeless issues by proactive design and measures.
The City of Manteca is working at complying with a court-ordered agreement to make sure everyone — the homeless included — has the ability to “lay down” on public property where there aren’t other restrictions such as park closures, carved out exceptions and right-of-way passage on sidewalks that adhere to Americans with Disabilities Act. The settlement avoided Manteca being sued for damages that have cost some cities millions of dollars.
To address ongoing vandalism and defecation at the Library Park courtyard, the city invested $7,000 in wrought iron fencing to secure the courtyard. That eliminated the problem and within a year saved the city as much money in labor and material that they spent on the fence. It also lead to more people using the courtyard for reading.
Caltrans finally found a way to stop playing whack a mole in the 120 Bypass freeway right-of-way behind the Paseo Villas apartments along Atherton Drive by placing concrete K-rail and chain link fencing with a secured gate. Since they have been put in place a month ago, the homeless have not returned to the area.
Throughout Manteca dozens of retails have done what 7-Eleven has done to secure trash enclosures to prevent the homeless from rifling through the trash, sleeping in the trash bins and enclosures and to avoid drug deals from taking place within enclosures as some have reported.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org